Referees' boss admits blunders after violent scenes

Leteane left UB stadium under escort
Leteane left UB stadium under escort

The Botswana Football Association (BFA) referees manager, Jonti Rasetshoga has admitted to errors from his officials after pandemonium broke out during a BTC Premiership encounter between Extension Gunners and Gilport Lions.

The match officials had to be escorted from the UB Stadium after Gilport Lions beat Gunners 2-1 on Saturday.

Supporters protested the referee, Gilbert Leteane’s decision to send off playmaker, Dirang Moloi within five minutes to full time. An off field scuffle ensued after the referee cautioned Lesego Galenamotlhale and assistant coach, Pontsho Moloi.  “I have to be honest and admit that there have been errors from our referees.

The assessment reports on the officials show mistakes. These are limited aspects such as movement and positioning, they are not result influencing,” Rasetshoga said. Leteane was assisted by Jima Montsho and Patrick Paraminase.

Rasetshoga said there is need to educate all stakeholders involved in the game to curb violent incidents in future.  “There is need to sensitise the stakeholders on matters of officiating and the laws of the game. The officials have a more educated eye to the game than other stakeholders,” Rasetshoga said.

“This is why at times they are bound to make decisions that could become unpopular to the supporters. This at times, causes such incidents, hence why there is need to understand the laws of the game from all the stakeholders.”

Referees have been under attack in the last months. During the off-season, a match official was attacked in a First Division South play off match between Masitaoka and Holy Ghost.

In another incident, Jwaneng Galaxy coach, Miguel da Costa scuffled with an assistant referee in a friendly match last month.

However, Rasetshoga lauded the security around match officials. No action has been taken on the weekend’s incident as the BFA awaits the match report.  “We are still waiting for the match report from the referees and the match commissioner,” BFA chief executive officer, Mfolo Mfolo said. 

Meanwhile, three elite match officials are back in the FIFA and CAF panels. The trio, Moemedi Monakwane, Kitso Sibanda and Tirelo Mositwane were amongst four officials who failed fitness tests in July but have since been given the green light following recent tests. 

“They are back on duty, even available for FIFA and CAF games, you should see them they are in great shape and there is no need to worry,” Rasetshoga said.

The trio has already handled some league games this season with Mositwane being the middleman in the match between Township Rollers and Molepolole City Stars on Tuesday evening.

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